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November 8, 2018
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Civil society concerned over violence against SC verdict

Karachi

November 8, 2018

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KARACHI: Showing their anger over a recent agreement between the government and a group following the violent protests against the apex court’s acquittal of Aasia Bibi, a group of civil society activists on Wednesday urged the government to take action against leaders of the group.

Prominent rights activists, including Jibran Nasir, Anis Haroon, Uzma Noorani, Nuzhut Shirin and Pastor Ghazala Shafiq were the key speakers at the press conference organised under the banner of the ‘People’s Resistance’ at the Karachi Press Club.

The People’s Resistance is a forum of concerned residents belonging to various walks of life. A heavy contingent of police was deputed outside the press club to avert any attack on civil society activists from religious parties.

The speakers condemned the inflammatory statements and acts committed by a group after 31st October, as a vicious reaction to the acquittal of blasphemy-accused Aasia. Expressing their concern over the seditious statements by the group, they termed it part of the narrative of extremists.

The speakers also expressed their anger over the weak response of the federal government to the assault on the state officers and the destruction of public and private properties that followed.

“The appeasement politics that followed the prime minister’s promise to enforce the writ of the state made his words hollow and have reduced the trust in this political leadership,” Jibran Nasir said. Nasir said of late the group employed blasphemy to further their interests. It is high time that the ECP immediately ban the group for violating the code of conduct, he said.

He also demanded the government to take action against the group instead of arresting the youth misled by the leaders to carry out violent acts. Haroon, who is also a member of the National Commission of Human Rights, said the civil society members, students and residents from all walks of life have gathered here to stand with the apex court.

“We have reservations at how quickly the government capitulated to the demands of the group, despite its earlier vow to preserve the writ of the state." Pastor Shafiq, a leader of Christian community, said the community is under immense pressure and fear after the violent protest.

The speakers welcomed the decision of the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo motu notice of the damages suffered by citizens and public property, to compensate them and hoped for immediate action.

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